i don't think all mma fans or fighters are as dumb as you paint them. i know rich franklin was a math teacher and if you listen to a lot of these guys they're not exactly mike tyson.
Actually, Mike Tyson came from a really, really rough childhood, having been literally picked up out of the juvenile detention system by Cus D'Amato, but as a kid at least he always struck me as pretty bright. He was always talking about the tape he watched in his post-match interviews and as long as Mike Jacobs was in his corner he boxed fairly intelligently as well (the classic bit was where Jacobs would yell out a number and Tyson would launch into the corresponding combo). As his career progressed, well... one of the things I like about boxing is that punishment reveals things about a person, and those things aren't always nice. Tyson learned he was a bit of a bully, found out he didn't like being hit nearly as much as he liked hitting, and really became a shell of his former self at the end. I don't find him a terribly likeable person but I've got to say, he's one of the most interesting boxers out there at least. And there are lots of interesting boxers out there.
Overall I guess my issue with MMA is that it's not international enough and to a point it feels more like a bunch of fine chaps in their Sunday bowlers stepping out onto the cricket yard while the real working class and, let's face it, sub-working class guys who go all out on the field because they've got nothing else to do with their lives play baseball. Boxing would be the baseball part of it. When MMA starts to attract those guys who emerge from the dredges of poverty in Tijuana and San Juan and Manila, I'll start taking it seriously. As of now, it seems less like a good idea for a sport than what boxing used to be before they stripped out all of the less competitive and boring bits.